Le Crocodile Upstairs
The creative lengths to which restaurateurs and chefs in New York and elsewhere are going to compensate for pandemic hardships are dazzling. And often effective. Take Jake Leiber and Aidan O’Neal at Le Crocodile, the brasserie at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They have turned the rooms on the hotel’s second floor into four — soon to be eight — elegant private dining spaces, each accommodating a single party (rooms can hold four to six guests, or eight to 10). A $100-per-person menu has a raft of choices, and a uniform menu is not required. A dozen seasonal appetizers, like venison tartare, mushroom pâté and onion soup, can be followed by main courses that include vegetarian options, like a chanterelle omelet and a squash tagine. A similar pivot to private parties is happening at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns establishments. Mr. Barber’s Manhattan restaurant can be booked by a single party, and the dining room and other spaces at the Westchester property, like the bar, are also available for single-party booking ($198 and up per person, plus a room fee of $500 to $2,500).
Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Avenue (North 11th Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 718-460-8004, lecrocodile.com.
Torch & Crown Brewing Company
At one time, there were several breweries in Manhattan. They closed, and the city’s beer-making settled in other boroughs. Now, Torch & Crown is restoring brewing to Manhattan in a SoHo building with state-of-the-art equipment. The owners, John Dantzler and Joe Correia, who is also the head brewer, have been developing the project for 15 years. The main floor — eventually seating 250 but now catering to about 60 — has soaring ceilings and gleaming tanks, a dark steel bar and leather banquettes at heavy tables. Here, you can sample food by Christian Pappanicholas, formerly of the Cannibal Beer & Butcher, and the executive chef Alex Pilas. They’re offering fried chicken, mussels, salads, a burger, a beef rib and whole roasted sea trout to share. On a level below is a private event space and the main brewing system, which includes 18 pressurized taps running up to the bar. On the next level down, there are more tanks and even a mill for processing grain. A retail area to one side has a street entrance, and there is outdoor seating in front and to the side of the building that will one day accommodate 180. (For now, it’ll be now fewer, with social distancing.) The initial beer offerings include I.P.A.s, a pilsner and a sour beer.
12 Vandam Street (Avenue of the Americas), torchandcrown.com.
Court Street Tavern
This seasonal American restaurant is from Matt Shendell, an owner of the Ainsworth, a string of pub-style spots. John DeLucie is the chef, who is offering dishes like crisp artichokes with aquafaba aioli, kuri squash salad with baby kale, roast chicken with polenta and wild mushrooms, and Berkshire pork chop with roasted apples. The location is more than 100 years old. At the side and in front is an outdoor garden that will become a skating rink for the neighborhood when it’s cold enough. (Opens Wednesday)
449 Court Street (Fourth Place), Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, 929-298-0321.
Enrique Olvera and Daniela Soto-Innes have reopened this restaurant for socially distanced indoor dining (45 seats) and a new four-course prix-fixe menu for $98. Duck carnitas, an old standby, is still available, $86 for a portion serving three to four.
35 East 21st Street, 212-913-9659, cosmenyc.com.
Constrained by the pandemic, this new restaurant from Jacob Siwak, the owner and chef, bided its time in the East Village,in an auxiliary space where meal kits were assembled for pickup and delivery, and where there were outdoor dinners four days a week. Now, their permanent Lower East Side location is open for dinner outdoors Tuesdays through Saturdays. Limited indoor seating and lunch are coming next month. Mark Coleman, who worked in Italy and New York, is the sous-chef for the mostly Roman-style menu, featuring suppli, gnocchi alla romana and maritozzo, a sweet brioche with whipped cream.
9 Stanton Street (Bowery), 646-450-5406, forsythianyc.com.
USA Brooklyn Delicatessen
There is a 57th Street in Brooklyn, but Shelly Fireman and his Fireman Hospitality Group are trying to turn West 57th Street in Manhattan into a corner of the other borough. They’ve owned the classic Brooklyn Diner there for years, and now they have added this counter-service deli around the corner specializing in hot pastrami and the like. Mr. Fireman insists it is not a Jewish deli. That’s obvious from the Reuben sandwiches (turkey, corned beef) made on potato buns, not rye. Egg sandwiches in the morning, Roman-style pizzas with assorted toppings and irresistibly crispy fries are also on the menu. He said he used Brooklyn in the name (again) because he “knew Brooklyn would sell.”
200 West 57th Street, 212-757-5757.
This counter-service izakaya restaurant is a new addition to Midtown. Choose tonkatsu, yakiniku flank steak, miso-glazed salmon and thick tofu steak in arranged bowls or with a D.I.Y. garnishes. The chef, Richard Horiike, worked at some top spots like Nobu and Morimoto. There is socially distant seating for four.
37 West 43rd Street, 646-885-2966, yuzu.kitchen.
This is the first American outpost of a global chain of tea shops based in Taipei, Taiwan. It serves fresh teas and tea with cream cheese foam, among others. Don’t be confused by the name; there is no matcha on the menu. (Thursday)
33 West 32nd Street.
This chain selling soft cookies will open its fifth outlet and first in Brooklyn on Oct. 31. Special that day will be cookies with Halloween sprinkles, and featuring orange and brown M&Ms. (Saturday)
123 Kent Avenue (North Seventh Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 929-397-0344, chipnewyorkcity.com.
Feast & Floret
Zak Pelaccio, who was the executive chef and a partner at Fish & Game in Hudson, N.Y., has gone into consulting. He relocated from Manhattan and Brooklyn, where he was known for Fatty Crab, Fatty Cue and more, to Hudson, where he opened Fish & Game in a charming old blacksmith’s shop. But once the pandemic began, Fish & Game closed and never reopened. Whalers & Merchants, the company run by Patrick Milling-Smith, who owns the space, has turned it into this new restaurant with his wife, Lavinia Mitchell, and the chef Jason Denton, formerly of ’Ino in the West Village, as partners. Mr. Denton is not in the kitchen, which is serving Italian fare. Mr. Pelaccio still owns BackBar about a block away, with drinks and Malaysian food.
13 South Third Street, Hudson, N.Y., 518-822-1500, feastandfloret.com.
Indian food is the latest addition to Time Out Market New York. The emphasis is street food with dishes like vada pav, a bun filled with fried potato and chutney; samosa chaat, a toss of chickpeas, tomatoes, chiles and spices with pieces of samosa turnovers; and butter chicken. The chef is Satinder Vij. His food comes packaged to take away and labeled with postcards from India. The owner is Jimmy Rizvi of GupShup in Gramercy. (Wednesday)
Time Out Market New York, Empire Stores, 55 Water Street (Main Street), Dumbo, Brooklyn, no phone, chotemiyanyc.com.
Chef on the Move
Formerly the executive chef at Jewel Bako, Mr. Isoda has become the chef heading what was Omakase Room by Tatsu in the West Village. Tatsuya Sekiguchi, whose name was over the door, has left, and the restaurant is now Omakase Room by Mitsu.
Blue Moon Fish
This Greenmarket favorite for about 30 years is closing on Oct. 31. Alex and Stephanie Villani, who own it, are stepping back from selling at the markets.
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